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BYU did not get out to the start it was hoping for after blowing a lead in the fourth quarter when quarterback Taysom Hill threw an interception that lead to a one-play scoring drive for the opponent. Those are the kind of mistakes you definitely don't make against a Top 25 ranked team, especially one with an offense like Texas. Currently there is a mix of -7's and -7.5's on the board with Texas favored on the road. The game is also circled due to the questionable status of some BYU players including receiver Cody Hoffman.
The Cougars had trouble scoring last year and didn't look much better against Virginia in Week 1. Taysom Hill went just 13-for-40, which doesn't win a lot of road games. Their running game was okay led by Jamaal Williams with 144 yards, but it took him 33 carries to get there. The one advantage the Cougars have in this game is that they are at home. They only lost one game there last year and that was against a Top 25 opponent in Oregon State.
The Longhorns looked primed for a great season with 19 returning starters. After getting out to a slow start against New Mexico State, they finally dusted off and scored 56 points in the next three quarters. That included four touchdowns over 50 yards, and three more that were at least 24 yards. Their running game looked solid as all resources were used. Overall, Texas notched 359 yards on the ground with an 8.5 average and four touchdowns. David Ash was a little more questionable throwing two interceptions against a team that had one win last year. Throwing for 343 yards and four TDs is nice, but interceptions will come back to haunt him if they keep up against better teams.
Even though BYU's offense isn't great, it should put up a better fight than NMSU did last weekend against Texas. Points will obviously be needed from the Cougars as their defense isn't going to hold down Ash completely. Hill will need a better game, that's for sure.
The Cougars usually have a stout defense and they contained Virginia for the most part, allowing 114 yards through the air and 109 on the ground (2.6 yards per carry). Texas will be a harder task, but maybe the adrenalin from their first home game will give the Cougars some life.
BYU has shown it can bounce back from games going 7-0 ATS in its last seven games after a straight up loss, but it is also 1-4 ATS in its last five home games. Texas doesn't have many positive numbers for this game, but it is 4-0 ATS in its last four non-conference games. The over/under is sitting around 55 points and will depend on what Taysom Hill can do for BYU. At this point, it's hard to see the Cougars scoring more than 20 points. So will their defense stop Ash from breaking 35 points?
Obviously, the status of star BYU receiver Cody Hoffman is crucial here. If this game was played last year, our model, using several different time frame parameters would have had BYU covering this number. A handicappers job is to figure out just how much of a different the loss of personnel will make here. Texas is loaded with returning starters while BYU returns just 4 starters to their talented defense of a year ago. We'll reserve judgment for now as we still have this one on the table as a potential Key Release and we also want to check the status of Hoffman.
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